26 - 30 July
I hope you and your family and friends are well.
From the beginning of last week, Step 4 of the Government’s roadmap out of national lockdown came into effect. This marks a significant change in how we can go about our daily lives, as most legal restrictions and social distancing measures were lifted.
However, I want to emphasise again that we must continue to play a part in managing the virus, as this pandemic is not over, and we continue to see a rise in infection rates. There are two ways to reduce the spread of the virus; by having the vaccine against COVID-19 and having a test twice a week. Remember, even if you have had your jab, you can still carry and transmit the disease to others. We must continue our efforts to protect others, especially those who are most vulnerable in our communities.
Take the time to read the Government’s guidance on the personal measures you can take to help protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Please continue to play your part in our fight against COVID in Hounslow.
Last Friday I attended a summit on driving down violence across the Capital and providing young people with the opportunities they need this summer and beyond. Along with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, other local authority leaders, and MPs, we met Kit Malthouse MP, the Crime and Policing Minister, and Dame Cressida Dick, the Met Police Commissioner. In Hounslow, we are committed to tackling complex crime issues affecting young Londoners. We welcome the call from the Mayor for more joint working across party lines to support young people and make investments which find the right solutions and create safer neighbourhoods for everyone. You can read more in my statement here Violence Summit.
Cllr Tom Bruce, Lead Member for Education, Children and Youth Services issued a message last week as the school year ended, and schools and pupils began their break. Read Cllr Bruce’s statement here: end of school year message
I’m sure many parents, children and carers will be planning activities and things to do during the holidays, and there’s a lot to do across the Borough! Parks and museums, heritage sites, nature trails, sports venues, and much more. Take advantage of the range of summer fun activities, many which are free for families. Read more in Cllr Bruce's statement.
Find out more about school holiday camps, activities and one-off events throughout this summer in the Hounslow Family Service Directory.
Boston Manor Park in Brentford also has lots for children and family to enjoy this summer! There’s an exciting programme of activities to help children learn about nature and biodiversity. Read more in this statement from Cllr Samia Chaudhary, Lead Member for Leisure Services and check out what’s on and how to book your place: Summer nature activities at Boston Manor Park
For more information visit: Activities, events, and volunteering opportunities at Boston Manor Park
It was great to catch-up with Martin Case, who represents Brentford Voice, and other members of the community on Monday evening. I was joined by Cllr Guy Lambert, ward councillor for Brentford. As Brentford undergoes extensive redevelopment, this meeting was an opportunity to talk about new, exciting ways to encourage more footfall and boost the local economy. As a Council, we thrive on working with our communities to shape their area. It’s inspiring to hear from local people who are clearly passionate about the future of where they live and the Borough as a whole.
Some residents have raised concerns about both an increase in numbers, and standards of properties classed as Housing in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) across the Borough. On Tuesday I chaired the HMO Task Force meeting. This was set up to identify how we change our approach to managing these properties, improve standards, reduce impacts on local areas and neighbours, and work more jointly with MPs and other agencies. I’m pleased to say we’re moving at pace and there will be a report to Cabinet in the autumn. If the recommendations are agreed, we will have a new approach to managing HMOs.
I was delighted to be invited to speak at the ‘Planning in Practice: High Street Retrofit’ event on Wednesday morning. The event explored how developers and planners can create high-street and town-centre strategies which build on the existing strengths and character of an area. There’s been a significant shift in how people shop, particularly since the pandemic and many now do most of their shopping online. It’s essential that local authorities and developers work towards innovative ways to rebuild and reshape our high streets which remain important to communities and for our economy. I was pleased to share the work we already do across the borough to transform our town-centres, including with stakeholders to look at the unique character and design of individual areas. You can read more about Hounslow’s Regeneration plans.
In the evening I attended the Feltham and Heston CLP meeting where we had a conversation with Edward Miliband MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy. A very lively and interesting discussion took place.
On Thursday morning, I met David Bowler, CEO of Gunnersbury Park and Museum, and David Babington-Smith, Chairman of the Board; a good opportunity for a general catch-up. It’s been a while since I last visited Gunnersbury, so I look forward to our next meeting on site, where we’ll have a walk around. You can find out the range of things on offer at Gunnersbury.
The Temple, one of the older buildings within Gunnersbury Park overlooking the round pond.
A great effort from the Bees on Wednesday with a 2-2 draw in their friendly against Man United. Good luck to the team for their next match, against West Ham this Saturday on home turf at the Brentford Community Stadium.
Come on you Bees!!!
If you haven’t already had your jab - find out where you can visit a pop-up clinic this weekend in Hounslow to have your vaccination!
Now the schools have broken up, people may be going away, either in the UK or - if they’re really lucky - abroad. Wherever you’re going, please stay safe and remember the rules. I’m taking some time out over the next couple of weeks so my next blog will be for the week starting 16th August 2021. Whatever you’re doing for the rest of the summer, have a lovely time.
Cllr Steve Curran